A liking for lichens: Windfall wonders

I made a promise, some time ago, that I would work on more lichen details this summer.  I have not forgotten that promise, but a good deal of the activity that I had planned to devote to the project has been diverted to more mundane endeavors, such as cleaning up the results of a particularly-violent straight-line wind episode, part of the same storm cells that caused the unprecedented flooding in Duluth.  However, as it has been written and oft-quoted, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody [some] good, and as I was sawing up one of the windfallen pines, I took notice of some of the exquisite lichens that had formed on its bark and branches over the decades.  I was only too happy to take a break from the drudgery of reactive forestry to fetch camera and tripod and do a few quick studies.  These are two of my favorite images from the delightfully-distracting session.  These are for you, Dezra.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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10 Responses to A liking for lichens: Windfall wonders

  1. I refere to the spring and summer winds that break off a few of the branhes as ‘Gods Pruners’. Most of the time he gets it right and it is the weak ones that are lost….on the odd occasion he is a little to harsh and we loose the odd branch that should still be there. Moss and litchen are so colourful in there own mute way, unique. Love the variety and colours on the second image.

    • krikitarts says:

      On the other hand, when the giants fall, we get to study up close what we could never see from our usual point of view from ground level. Only the people who climb and really study the big trees get to see this stuff. By the way, speaking of the climbers, have you read “The Wild Trees” by Richard Preston? It’s about the quest for the world’s tallest tree and is a totally fascinating book; I recommend it most highly.

  2. Thank you, Gary! They are exquisite, as I knew they would be. The first one is definitely a fragment from a faerie gown as she danced through the woods (you knew I would make a lilliputian-type comment, didn’t you?) The second is full of texture and color. It engages the eye as we try to make sense of it. I see tiny volcanoes with lava flows down the sides.

    • krikitarts says:

      You are so very welcome! I really should try to find the time to put names to the lichens I post, as I do with the spiders and insects. But then there would be even less time for answering comments, making comments, and corresponding. After I catch up (I’m down from 485 to 319), maybe I’ll go back and try to do that, or at least begin with my next lichen post…Love your mental images of the tiny volcanoes and the faerie dress)!

  3. sandy says:

    Nice photos! Lichen makes such a pretty subject.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Sandy. I’m really fascinated by the fantastic forms they can take and how they seem to coexist so well and in such proximity to their unrelated neighbors.

  4. anne cropper says:

    I believe it was a lichen photo that got me to first follow your blog. The wind was blowing in the right direction ;)

    • krikitarts says:

      Thank you again, Anne. It amazes me how they can grow out in almost any direction, almost–as you said–as if blown by the wind. An endless source of delight and wonder.

  5. seekraz says:

    Seems like a productive break from your reactive forestry, Gary…very nice.

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